To be sure, writing fiction carries its own kind of pain, but writing a memoir is like punching yourself in the face. You have to come to terms with some very unfortunate realities about yourself, and then, you know, decide what to do with them. I wrote this particular section almost two years ago, and of the many face-punching paragraphs that have since made it into the book, this remains my favorite. It was my first “a-ha!”—the moment I peeled back my ribs, yanked out my mess of a heart, took a good, brutal look, and thought, “Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere.” It was the moment I began to understand why I was writing this book in the first place:
Once he’d decided to leave, S. pulled away by taking longer and longer to reply to my emails and texts. It wasn’t until our final phone call that I learned why: he’d been weaning me off his presence. When F. grows less responsive, I worry he’s doing the same, and I wonder why I remain loyal to men, long after it becomes apparent they no longer want me around. But having grown up a writer and a dancer-turned-runner, I mastered early the art of pursuing things that were capricious with their affections, arduous in their execution, and above all, incapable of returning my devotion.